Working with one of my 1:1 clients this last week we got talking about questions and how powerful the right question can be. Which took me down the road of asking her "What questions could you ask yourself instead of telling yourself to do something?" Her eyes lit up. It resonated with her.
What happens is this: our brain receives an instruction. Instead of searching for the solution to the specific instruction it searches for how to handle instructions. And the automatic responses kick in - rejection, rebellion, procrastination, boredom, excuses, distraction - whichever our go-to avoidance tactic is, that's the way we handle the instruction we give ourselves.
We pretty much need to treat ourselves as if we're a a client. We have to encourage and enable through asking the right questions - because the power is in the questions. Instead of being hard on yourself the next time you use your go-to avoidance strategy, check in with yourself about whether you told yourself to do something or asked yourself a power question. The two main question types that work are the "how" and the "what" questions. These encourage a process of working out solutions.
Here are some of my go-to questions - try them out and discover if they work for you, and let me know in the comments below what questions work for you.
- Every Monday I ask myself "What can I do this week to tell people I'm in business?"
- Every Friday I ask myself "Who knows I am in business this week who didn't know I was in business last week?
- When I need to get work done I ask myself "What will make this next hour powerful for me?"
- And when I need to find a way to make something happen I ask myself "What will it take to make this happen?" (be specific on what you need to happen)
- And then there's the question to avoid! "What would you like to do next?" Never ask yourself that question as you'll easily find an avoidance activity to fill your time!